May 7, 1985
Opinion No. 85/7
Your inquiry poses the following questions:
1) Whether you may accept a television set won in a drawing as a door prize and, if so whether it should be included on your disclosure form; and
2) Whether air fare and meals paid for either by the state or local Board of Realtors when you accompany your husband to a national convention of realtors should be put into your financial disclosure statement and, if so, whether you may estimate the amount.
This inquiry is covered by Canon 6, relating to fiscal matters, which requires that a judge preserve the appearance of propriety in financial matters and regularly file public reports.
As to the first question, the Committee unanimously agrees that you may accept the television set won as a door prize and that no disclosure is required. Several members, however, caution that you make sure the "door prize" doesn't fall within the purview of the gambling laws.
As to the second question, the majority of the Committee is of the view that disclosure is not required of the air fare and meals paid for on your behalf when you accompany your husband to the national convention. In this regard, the majority of the Committee distinguishes your receipt of these benefits as related to your status as "wife" rather than as "judge" and would not require disclosure. However, one member of the Committee would construe Canon 5C(4) and Article II, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution to require that you report the air fare and meals. Another member, though voting that you need not disclose this, advises that you should be "extremely wary" of sitting on any case involving a realtor.
The Committee thanks you for your inquiry and hopes that this response is of assistance to you.
Anne C. Booth, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
cc: All Committee Members
Participating members: Judges Booth, Blanchard, Goldstein, Dell, Turner,
Green, Grube, Letts and Attorney M. Craig Massey
All reference to the inquiring judge is deleted from the copies sent to the following individuals.
Mr. Sid White, Clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida
Linda Yates, Managing Editor, The Florida Bar Journal
Kathleen T. Phillips, Esq., Chairman, Judicial Qualifications Commission.
Hon. Howard T. Markey, Chairman, Ethics Advisory Panel of the Judicial Conference of the United States .
Jeffrey M. Shaman, Esquire, Director, Center for Judicial Conduct Organizations
Ms. Jean Underhill, Librarian, Broward County Law Library
Mr. Robert Wallace, Librarian, Dade County Law Library
Mr. Brian Polley, Librarian, Supreme Court of Florida